Guendouzi the shining light despite Arsenal defeat to Man City

When we look back on this game further on in the season the records may say that Arsenal lost Unai Emery’s first game against Manchester City, but there were positives along with the heartache. The debuts of Lichtsteiner and Torreira were very promising and Sokratis can only improve but looked determined. But the best debut of all was by the 19 year-old Matteo Guendouzi who looked mature far beyond his years in his first ever big game as a professional.

He made a few mistakes but he wasn’t perturbed and he retained his confidence throughout and wasn’t overawed by the opposition or by the intense atmosphere at the Emirates. Martin Keown was also impressed with the youngster. “Guendouzi the 19-year-old was playing in there and I thought he was quite brave,” said Keown.

“Things didn’t go well for him at times but he showed a good energy.

“He showed that he really had that character and he didn’t hide.”

To come from the French Ligue 2 is a massive step up in class, but Guendouzi was in the starting line-up deservedly after impressing Emery in our pre-season games. He also expressed how comfortable he felt with his new team-mates after greeting the players coming off the pitch at half time during the friendly game against Chelsea in Dublin. He said: “The most important thing is for a team to stick together and to really operate as a unit,”

“That’s not something that comes naturally to everyone. It’s about everyone having a common objective, that we all want to achieve together. For me that means giving my team-mates encouragement.

“That helps me get into the game and feel close to my team-mates. With them I know I can go into battle.”

“I’m a cheerful person, and there’s a real ‘joie de vivre’ in the team – a great atmosphere,” he said. “It’s allowed me to really be myself with my team-mates, to have a laugh and make jokes.

“But you also need to remember when it’s time to be serious in training. I’ve been able to balance both sides in that respect and so far things have gone really well.”

It sounds like he has a great attitude and will be an asset in the dressing room as well as out on the pitch. Despite this only being his first game, he already looks certain to grow into an Arsenal star in the coming seasons. I’m still finding it hard to believe he is only 19!



  1. Willthegooner14 says:

    Already looks like a really good signing by Emery. As long as he doesn’t do a Jack Wilshere on it he could be a real star

  2. Muffdiver says:

    David Luiz had a baby while at psg …this baby was given Diego Costa aging Elixir ..matteo is actually 3 years old .
    Now look ….makes xhaka look like …granit xhaka

    Sell Ramsey sell xhaka sell ozil…
    Build more super babies

    1. gotanidea says:

      Xhaka might still be in demand, because his salary is still reasonable

      Maybe Ramsey could still gain some interest because he is British

      But I don’t think any club would be willing to pay Ozil’s salary with that kind of performance

    2. 4X4 blackcar says:

      Muffdiver, you are so right in all three cases,Ramsey refusing a contract doesn’t deserve to be an Arsenal player Ozil is an expensive luxury we cannot afford , and if we must keep him ,play him in the centre, and xhaka just sell him quickly.

    3. Highbury44 says:

      Couldn’t agree more.Its time to start using some of the younger players who have desire

      1. Durand says:

        Agree with you 100%. Was Guendouzi perfect? No, made some mistakes, but never hid and tried to make good on his mistakes.

        Guendouzi 19 years old, and outplayed Ramsey and Xhaka. Says everything to me really. Xhaka disappeared, and Ramsey further foreard than Auba, even when our midfield was being overrun Ramseu didn’t care.

        Sell Ramsey and his selfish, diva, overhyped self. We’re better club without him.

        1. ozziegunner says:


  3. funkyrith says:

    The sooner the team buys into Emery’s idea the better, and phasing out the old guard will be a big task. Xhaka/Welbeck and even Ramsey if he does not sign, are all to be phased out, Bellerín/Ozil have to adapt and grow, or replaced in year or 2.

    1. A.ball08 says:

      So many people lambaste welbs but he is probably the one who will run all day and press hard
      If he was playing yesterday on the left I guarentee he would of covered down that left and we wouldn’t have been over run time after time.
      What he lacks in quality he gives 100% unlike some of our so called stars

      1. funkyrith says:

        Not lambasting welbs, just that he is a good squad player, not a starter for any position. Yes, he runs all day, but has 1 year left and will move next year for free to get good salary elsewhere. May be worth to keep a year as he wont fetch much in a non-EPL market (him being British wont matter)

        1. A.ball08 says:

          Agreed on good said player
          If we can’t off load him then keep him and let him do a job for us
          For certain games I would have in as a starter as you know why you get from him
          Unfortualty some of our so called stars only turn up when they feel like it.
          Against lesser teams that’s fine but the so called top 5 or 6, no one can afford to go missing which is exactly what happened against city
          Lets see who he sticks in against chelski.
          Hopefully the boss doesn’t take any prisoner and just bins the player to can’t be bothered to put a shift in

  4. Innit says:

    Guendouzi will be dynamite in a few years. I already rate him higher than Xhaka even at his age of 19 and lack of experience.

    Torreira and Guendouzi are the stand out signings this summer

  5. gotanidea says:

    His stamina, interception and mobility reminds me of the peak Flamini

    He could be a top player if guided well and if he is still willing to work as hard as in the Man City match

    He should start with Torreira and Maitland-Niles (if he is not injured) in midfield

    1. kev says:

      I believe we lacked a player like Maitland-Niles in midfield.Someone who could bamboozle his way through players and drive through midfield.Xhaka and Guendouzi are players who like to dictate from deep where they feel they can have more time on the ball.I was somewhat shocked to see Ramsey at No. 10 for us.He should’ve started at CM.
      With a better selection we could have won the match I believe.

      1. Maks says:

        Kev, I agree about the team. It was like Emery has to call Wenger before the match to get approval of the team. I hope he will soon throw the mobile in the River.

      2. gotanidea says:

        Ramsey and Ozil cannot handle the pressure from the tough opponents when playing as a no 10

        A more skillful player with higher mobility like Isco, Hazard or Seri suits better in that position

        If Arsenal cannot find someone like that, they had better play with a more direct tactic, e.g. a false nine with two wingers or a tall target man tactic

    2. Khadii says:

      Guendouzi jst reminds me a bit of the fit Diaby back in d day..
      I really love this kid… doesn’t play or look 19..

      Xhaka shouldn’t be anywhere near dis team except in carling cup matches

  6. kev says:

    Matteo Guendouzi is a good player and I even feel he’s very similar to Xhaka.To me he’s more talented,mobile and the better the dribbler.
    However,Guendouzi just like every other player has a weaknesses.He has the same problem as Xhaka because he needs some time on the ball to fully express himself.Thankfully,he’s more mobile and can do some basic dribbles.That weakness of his is the kind that stays with the player.Iys not bound by age or anything but by style of play.Hope he does well in his time here though.

  7. ruelando says:

    Guendouzi is on his way in becoming a star for Arsenal, but it does not hide the fact that he was the cause of the first goal with that feeble attempt at stopping Sterling, small errors like that can be quite detrimental in a team earning points.

    I believe this experience will only strengthen Guendouzi and allow him to further develop into the star we hope he will become.

    1. waal2waal says:

      ..that’s what i seen too – it was as if raheem targeted guendouzi for attention and the end result was at times embarrassing. If anything his was a baptism of fire.

  8. Sue says:

    I really like this guy

  9. Grandad says:

    The young lad did very well and should be part of an athletic midfield trio along with Torreria and AMN. Xhaka will never fit the high pressing style favoured by Emery.The same applies to Ozil who continues to fail against top class opposition. In his case we have a highly paid player with a low resale value.Apart from the Chinese, who would buy him on his current salary?

  10. Maks says:

    Guendouzi must be a regular starter with Torreira beside him, and no Ramsey and Xhaka anywhere in the team.

    1. Durand says:

      Ramsey showed yet again why club should immediately rip up contract offer and sell him for what we can get. Xhaka was worst on pitch, Ramsey not far behind.

      I would be gutted if Emery started Ramsey against Chelsea. ElNeny at least puts in a defensive shift; more than Xhaka or Ramsey do for sure.

      1. ozziegunner says:


  11. luvdaguns says:

    love the guy but he did not have a great match yesterday, we played a highly better squad who have played together, within 4-5 matches we will start to click

  12. GanjaMan says:

    Every season we put ridiculous pressure and expectations on a young player and the second something goes wrong they’re nailed to the cross. Like Emery, Guendouzi needs time more so because of his age and the league he came from. If he does continue this trojection he will indeed be 1 to watch.

  13. Innit says:

    I would try Torreira and Guendouzi together too.
    Regular playing will improve him. I also think he is already better than Xhaka.

    But go easy on Guendouzi. He is bound to have a bad game here and there. He is only 19 and is forced into 1st team because of the poor experienced players we have. He lacks experience and unfair to put unreasonable expectations on him.

  14. waal2waal says:

    what could be seen was sterling imposing his will on the youngster who appeared to allow himself to be bullied by raheem. iv never ever seen this arrogance/tact from him before but it appeared to work wonders – in so much as guendouzi sometimes went along with it. That guendouzi is a talent goes without saying but his indecision directly led to the first goal of that there is no doubt.

    How is he to learn if in evaluating a performance we cannot be honest on what was an haphazard display – granted he wasn’t alone, but the scoreline doesn’t reflect how bad this game really was.

  15. Me says:

    The problem that many on here fail to see is that this is not a league where you will be allowed to develop a team and win big trophies in a couple of years.
    Top four means big money – there is no time to develop a great team like Ferguson or Wenger were allowed to develop.
    Arsenal need to be hitting the ground running and win these kind of games and if they don’t then I cannot see Emery lasting beyond the summer. – this is why they inserted a clause that would allow them to sack him without compensation should he fail this.
    Its just the brutal reality of premiership football.
    And this was a bad start…

      1. enagic says:

        And Guess! as long as gazidis is gone and Josh taking over as CEO i will guarantee you Thierry is our next manager thats why he left skysports knowingly some big changes were coming including kroenke has 100% of arsenal

        1. jon fox says:

          Is that a legally binding written guarantee? No, I thought not. Emotive and silly language.

      2. GunnerJack says:

        … so untrue

        1. waal2waal says:

          @GunnerJack.. whether we can win Citeh is debatable – seems thhe proof is in the pud. ME (above) was right that we need to hit the ground running if we expect to achieve champions league placing isn’t debatable. This because competition for CL places is like never before (imo). His bit emery not lasting “beyond the summer” is OTT, that we all know.

    1. GunnerJack says:

      @Me – you say ‘this is not a league where you will be allowed to develop a team and win big trophies in a couple of years’.
      Please explain how Pep Guardiola has done exactly that. Thank you.

      1. Gooner14 says:


  16. gunner 23 says:

    Omg I got old reading all this negativity…

  17. Fabu says:

    People we can’t buy players anymore only sell so stop demanding transfers for fod sake …..petr cech did nothing bad he saved us from 4-0

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Oliver missed one clear cut penalty when Mustafi was dragged down by Mendes. The penalty if scored, would have brought the game back to 1-1. In addition Ozil and Aubameyang were ruled offside (correctly) for mistimed runs. On another day hopefuly Arsenal will put it together and the game would be closer.. Let’s stay positive as it’s only the first game in a long season.

  18. gunner 23 says:

    11 vs Chelsea.

    If Monreal was available he would bench Bellerin, Lich Rb and Monr LB.
    Xhaka and Ramsey benched.

  19. Tatgooner says:

    take nothing away from guendouzi but holding chambers maitland niles iwobi and mavropanos were also equally praised.
    we should motivate players yes but lets not put too much pressure.
    the beginning will always always be promising but the trick is keeeping it thatvway

  20. Me says:

    If Arsenal lose away to Chelsea on Saturday then I see Emery’s position at Arsenal already under threat.
    As I stated before the emphasis is to hit the road running and six points behind it will already place the team under pressure – and Arsenal are a team that does not thrive under pressure.
    Arsenal are a poor side – they lack the technical ability of the teams above them and they certainly lack a fighting spirit and winning attitude you see at Man City and Liverpool.
    If we lose on Saturday I would say this season is going to be a real struggle even for sixth place.

    1. GunnerJack says:

      @Me – just a quick look over the pack of lies you have just sprouted:
      1) If Arsenal lose away to Chelsea on Saturday then I see Emery’s position at Arsenal already under threat. NO IT’S NOT.
      3) six points behind it will already place the team under pressure NO IT WON’T
      4) Arsenal are a team that does not thrive under pressure. THEY ABSOLUTELY THRIVED AFTER RAMSEY AND XHAKA WERE REMOVED
      5) Arsenal certainly lack a fighting spirit and winning attitude you see at Man City and Liverpool. DID YOU EVEN WATCH THE FREAKIN’ MATCH!!??
      6) If we lose on Saturday I would say this season is going to be a real struggle … NO IT’S NOT. WE WILL IMPROVE STEADILY THROUGHOUT THE SEASON.
      Got any more fairy tales you’d like to share with us?

      1. ozziegunner says:


    2. ozziegunner says:

      @Me, Unai Emery’s position is not under threat. The last manager was at Arsenal for 22 years and you see Emery under threat after two games if the team doesn’t win?
      If you had your way Sir Alex Ferguson would have been sacked after his early first few seasons lack of success at Manchester United.

  21. Kenya001 says:

    He can only get better

  22. Midkemma says:

    Why the hate for Ozil when he was defending more than both Xhaka and Rambo combined?
    Which 2 was our CM last season? Which two want to play CM where defending is required?

    So why is Ozil getting the hate when he is playing in new tactics, pressing and defending as a team?

    I honestly thought Xhaka and Rambo hurt us the most, Ozil actually impressed me with the times he did go back to defend along with desire to shoot… which is new for him right? I mean, when would king of assists get in Auba way of a shot in Wenger era? He did against City, bad I know but it shows the small changes that a new manager can bring.

    Isn’t those changes noteworthy? Isn’t it praise for Emery who got Ozil to defend while our ex manager seemed eager for him not to?

    1. Durand says:

      I agree with you Midkemma. Ozil gets forced to RW, and Arsenal fans have known he doesn’t put in defensive shift, but he did more than Xhaka and Ramsey.
      Did Emery give Ramsey that position to entice signing contract? If so, team suffered for it.

      Torreira and Guendouzi should start deep in a 4-2-3-1 against Chelsea with Ozil as 10, Laca up top, and Auba and Mkhi on wings.

      Ramsey and Xhaka should remain at Emirates on saturday to practice, practice, practice. That performance by Ramsey should immediately lead to bench and sold soon after.

      Well said about Ozil, honest comment, unbiased and he did some good amonst the bad. At least he tracked back; Ramsey further forward than Auba while City overran our midfield. Shocking decisions and selfishness on Ramsey’s part, absolutely diva of him. Does he want to be sold? Maybe he does.

      1. GunnerJack says:

        Summed up very nicely Durand

        1. Durand says:

          GunnerJack I’m so tired of Ramsey. His style of selfish play, holding out FOR MONTHS on contract; for money, for captaincy, for whatever reason clearly shows he is about himself and not the team.

          After Wenger’s contract uncertainty, Sanchez and Ozil and the absolute disruption it caused the team, what does Ramsey do?

          Exactly the same disruption. Team in transition and a bit 6’s and 7’s at the moment and he holds out for months.

          If Emery doesn’t bench him for Chelsea game, I’ll lose some respect for him as manager. Team suffers while he placates a diva; f##king unbelievable!!

          1. ozziegunner says:

            Ramsey should sign or be relegated to the reserves until sold.

  23. ruelando says:

    We will know if Emery judged the players by their performance in the starting 11 for the Chelsea game.

    Really looking forward to the game.

  24. Go ask Alice... says:

    He played well at times, but if he doesn’t cut out that lack of concentration he’ll be a liability. The first goal should not happen in a game of this magnitude, like how lazy/dumb,idiotic whatever you call it that should not happen. It was a gift. Then he’s the last man back, and he gifts Aguero of all people with a one v one on GK. That is the stuff that puts you out of competitions, it could end your season. I think people are going too far with their compliments. That wasn’t a good game, it was a hit and miss game. He has a huge ego and it’s partly why he makes silly errors. When Xhaka does that there is nowhere to hide. The boy needs to know that he is culpable to our loss, make him concentrate, I better not see anything like that over his next three or four games.

    1. Go ask Alice... says:

      Imagine if Ramsey had made those errors. Xhaka, Bellerin or Ozil, there’d be nowhere to hide.

  25. I’m sorry but all you people don’t know what you talking about. Ramsey is our best midfielder. Way better than that weak young kid. If we sell Ramsey or drop him who is going to get us goals from midfield? Or maybe you people think aubamayang will get all our goals. And who cares Ramsey doesn’t track back all the time. I never saw lampard tracking back..he stated forward and scored his goals. And that new kid cost us the first goal by not blocking sterling’s shot. Aguero also nearly scored from his mistake. I can’t understand how everyone hates Ramsey but he won us 2 fa cups with his late goals and has over 50 goals for us. What the hell has AMN, xhaka or elneny some for arsenal. Ramsey is by far our best midfielder..The sooner you people realize that the better for all us arsenal fans

    1. buddie says:

      I don’t understand why everyone’s blaming that kid for the first goal. Move past it, goals are scored somehow, and someone have to make the mistake. We could have scored from Ederson mistakes too, it was sterling day on Saturday.

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